Members of the Hope Town Council said they were concerned about the lack of town residents serving on a committee that recommends tax dollars.
At a council work session last week, questions were raised about the membership of the town's Economic Development Income Tax committee, which recommends grants from money that comes into the town from local income taxes.
Councilwoman Nellie Meek said that she is getting complaints that several of the committee members are actually not town residents. Those include Dave Miller, the branch manager of the Hope library and Vickie Tedder, who owns and co-owns several businesses on the Town Square. Michele Clark, who is the deputy clerk-treasurer, also serves on the committee and is not a town resident.
Councilman Jerry Bragg also said he was concerned about the makeup of the board and Council President Ed Johnson said that he had nothing against any of those serving on the committee, but he was also concerned about the lack of town residents serving.
The committee meets monthly to hear proposals for grants to be paid out of the town's share of the economic development income tax. According to figures from the county auditor's office, the town was slated to receive $112,262 from the revenues last year.
That amount will be increasing this year, because the Bartholomew County Council approved an increase to local income taxes for public safety and for the general fund. While the town was not responsible for enacting the tax increase, it will see the benefit.
The county auditor's office provide figures showing a distribution of $155,360 slated for the year.
Last Thursday's meeting was a working session to review boards and commission appointments and to hear proposals for pay for the management of town departments.
The council heard proposals for 3 percent pay increases for Town Manager J.T. Doane, Utilities Manager David Clouse and Town Marshal Matt Tallent.
Under the proposals, the annual income for Town Manager would rise to $54,590, while Clouse and Tallent would both be at $58,282.